(Article changed on September 28, 2012 at 20:44)
Sometimes keeping up with our societal decline becomes a bit too much. For example:
SPRINGTOWN, Texas -- Like many schools in Texas, "spare the rod and spoil the child" might be considered the motto at Springtown High School.
But when two teenage girls there reportedly suffered bruises after being paddled by male assistant principals, some parents complained. They weren't upset about the punishment itself, but instead that the school violated the policy requiring an educator of the same sex as the student to dole out the paddling. Associated Press, September 24 2012
The school board for Sprigtown, Texas responded by expanding official policy to allow male administrators to paddle female students. There were no restrictions on prurient motives or sexual arousal by male administrators while administering the structured beatings. AP failed to report any serious questioning of the process save those by People Opposed to Paddling Students, a Texas-wide organization opposed to corporal punishment. Seventy-five percent of Texas school districts allow paddling as punishment, some for minor offenses up the line of disciplinary.
But Texas isn't the only state where parents serve up their daughters to paddling. Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi allow liberal corporal punishment of K-12 students. The national ranking for these state educational systems are 42, 43, 44, and 35 respectively. Along with Texas (rank, 26), these five contiguous states form a pedagogic arc of adult deviance.
New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Jersey, the top five ranked K-12 states for education have little to no corporal punishment allowed in public schools
Can these paddling educators read or research?
We hear a lot about teacher competence and the tests required to demonstrate fundamental skills. Maybe we need assessment for reading and research abilities for K-12 school administrators who spank and the state education departments, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico states mentioned previously.
It wouldn't take a lot of reading and research to find Murray Strauss' classic research summary, Beating the Devil out of Them. A meticulous researcher, Straus is a prolific researcher and author . He provides a summary of his research findings in Chapter 10 (full text). Here are just a few.
Spanking doesn't work unless you want enhance your child's prospects of growing up to be depressed or violent.
Children who are spanked consistently tend to be more aggressive than children who are not.
Spanking diminishes the parent-child attachment bond and produces children who have a much less developed sense of conscience than those who are not spanked.
If the pedagogic paddlers are truly motivated, they might continue with the bibliography from the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. They would find hundreds of research studies on corporal punishment, child victimization of all types, family violence, violence against children, etc.
I wouldn't count on any research activity by corporal punishment heavy states and school districts any time soon. In many cases, paddling and other corporal punishments are more about the needs or visceral reactions of adults than they are about any perceived benefit for the victim and his/her peers. More narcissism, less boundaries, and no responsibility by adults who physically abuse children in the name school discipline.